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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Head cheese

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2005 at 12:00 AM

A graduate of the University of Michigan (Class of ’77), Bart Plantenga is a music writer (contributor to the anthology Reggae, Rasta Revolution), fiction writer (“I Had Sex With Andy Warhol Until His Wig Fell Off”) and radio host of 17 years (currently on Radio Patapoe out of Amsterdam, where he lives). His Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World (Routledge) is touted as the first book on yodeling — period. Here are five monomanias of a man who says yodeling “penetrates your being.”

5. Top yodel nicknames: Adi, “The Yodeling Woodcarver”; Harry Torrani, “The Singing Puzzle”; S.E. Rogie, “The Jimmie Rodgers of Sierra Leone”; Eddie Giguere, “The Well-Known Yodeler of the Police Petrol Company”; Don Walser, “The Pavarotti of the Plains.”

4. Top unlikely yodelers: William Randolph “Citizen Kane” Hearst; Werner “Quantum Physics” Heisenberg; David “Kung Fu” Carradine; Michigan’s Kid Rock and Del Shannon (not together!); Howard Dean (half yodel, half yeowl); Bette Midler (in Big Business).

3. Top speed-yodelers: Munich’s Thomas Scholl yodeled 22 tones — 15 in falsetto — in one second, in February 1992. Peter Hinnen, ’60s Swiss pop yodel star, also managed the same feat that month. They are both in the Guinness Book of World Records.

2. Top I-didn’t-know-that-was-a-yodel yodels: Ennio Morricone’s sound track to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly; “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens; “Five O’Clock World” by the Vogues.

1. Top Yodel Prediction: “I think yodel music is gonna be the rap of the late ’90s.” —Tori Spelling, visionary actress of Beverly Hills 90210 fame.


At 5 p.m., Saturday, April 23, at Book Beat (26010 Greenfield, Oak Park; 248-968-1190).

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